And just like that, nearly 2 years after I first had the spark of an idea to do a book on Rivolis, it's here.
Today Rivoli Beadwork goes on sale all around the world and I'm delighted to finally be able to get it into beaders' hands and see it move from something I've been dreaming of into an actual physical item.
As some of the projects have already been going out to anyone who purchased the My Favourite Rivolis Collection I have already gotten to see some pieces made from the instructions and I'm really looking forward to seeing more over time.
The last few weeks have been very scary as my brain began to realise that this was it - at some point the book would be released and the work which I have been doing for a long time would suddenly be out in the world and subject to scrutiny and judgement.
It's absolutely terrifying making something so absolute when I know it's going to be read and used by beaders and I want it to be as accurate as I can possibly make it.
As a beader myself, and someone who loves to cook, I know how frustrating it is when instructions are incorrect or unclear.
Though I know how easy it is for errors to slip into pages in all manner of ways (in 4 years of editing Bead magazine I fortunately only ever had to print one correction, and that was when someone sent the wrong file to the printer after I'd spent weeks making sure it was accurate) it's always disappointing when they do.
Beading takes such a long time that the thought of making someone waste their precious time due to poor instructions fills me with absolute dread.
There was an interesting thread on Facebook recently when someone asked how often designers made a piece in order to write a tutorial and it really got me thinking about it all.
I find that for all new tutorials & projects I generally make the piece, or parts of it at the very least, a minimum of 4 times:
- The first time is to work out the design (which is very rarely one continuous stretch of beading but lots of experimenting, undoing, redoing, cutting-up etc)
- The second time is to re-bead it using different beads & colours as there can be such a difference in the results different ones make that I want to make sure it wasn't just a fluke which will only work with the beads I chose the first time
- The third time is after the instructions are written when I'll remake the piece directly from them to test them out
- If the piece is a class it is taught for a length of time the instructions are rewritten and added to as needed after each time it's taught (and sent out to previous students with any updates) so I can make sure that I add in the answers to any questions which came up when teaching or make anything clearer
- Then, once the project is released as a pattern I generally re-bead it using the new instructions as it could be anywhere from 2-5 years since I first beaded it and in that time I will have learnt new things, had new ideas, perfected new techniques etc and I'll try them out in a new version before rewriting and then releasing the pattern for people who won't get to view & hold the finished piece and have me there to answer questions
- And of course there's the testing which other people do for me and the feedback I get from them and students etc means that work gets rewritten and added to as time goes on
Some of this does get cut-down if it's a technique or component based on previous projects, or, for example, where I know how it will work due to 18+ years and many thousands of hours making geometric beadwork.
All of this explains why the book has been delayed well over a month due to myself and others poring over the pages again and again (and again and again!) until we hoped we had cleared any errors or confusion.
Anyway, rambling over, I really hope that if you buy the book you enjoy the projects & techniques contained within its pages. If you do make anything from it I'd love to see photos, and if you do spot anything that needs correcting please do contact me.
Over the next few weeks I'll be blogging about individual projects from the book so do keep an eye out for more behind the scenes information and extra detail.